About Us

Our origins, and a brief history

Early days of the Minnesota Citizens' Federation

A large Senior Coalition - NE contingent was part of a massive 1979 rally at the State Capitol in St. Paul.

The Minnesota Citizens Federation – Northeast has a long and proud track record of defending consumer rights and economic justice, sticking up for ordinary people against big corporations and others who try to take unfair advantage of us. It is a non-profit, charitable, non-partisan organization that stands up for the needs of low and middle income people.  We deal with issues from a consumer perspective, not a party politics angle.

Its first name was the Duluth Senior Coalition, and later the Senior Citizen Coalition of Northeastern Minnesota. It was founded in 1975, after two years of discussion and activity by leaders of senior clubs — especially union retirees — and others at senior centers, who wanted to band together to address common concerns of high drug prices and other essential needs. 45 of these clubs joined to form the Coalition.  Our earliest local issues included utility rates, nursing home quality, and ambulance service. In 1977, we created our Low Income Health Program, later known as Senior Partners Care.

In 1976, our group helped create, along with five other senior organizations, the statewide Minnesota Senior Federation, to wield power in numbers at the state level. Our group, serving the greater Duluth region and nearby areas, re-named itself the Minnesota Senior Federation – Northeast.

We left the statewide Minnesota Senior Federation in 2003, along with three other sister regions and formed the Greater Minnesota Health Care Coalition (GMHCC) to better serve the needs of people outside the Twin Cities area. Nevertheless, we team up with Twin Cities groups to exercise clout to win issues. With GMHCC, we created our Prescription Partnership Program, to enable people of any age or income to access low prices for brand name medications.

In 2004, we changed our name to Minnesota Citizens Federation – Northeast, to mark a broadening of our organization to all adults, not just seniors.  The issues are much the same, but now we intend to include and embrace everyone who seeks economic justice for low, moderate, and middle income people.  Our annual budget of about $100,000 is funded 75-85% by grassroots sources (donations, dues, fundraising projects and program revenue), and a small amount by  grants.  Our financial self-sufficiency goes hand in hand with our tradition of strong, independent action.  We are a 501(c)3 charitable organization, and so donations to us are tax-deductible.  We are registered with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office Charities Division.

We invite you to participate with us and support us!